First and foremost – time and dedication and commitment.
Finnegan at Harrisonburg News puts together the perfect analysis of what he’s learned in the two and a half years since he started writing. Everything he says is on point. It’s a shame that he’s “throwing in the towel” because the comments speak to the value that his site has brought to his community, but it’s good that the site will continue. All of his points ring true, and they speak to what I’m trying to start in Waynesboro and provide guidance and inspiration.
Two ThreeFour points (just read the whole thing) with which I particularly agree, and if I could copy and paste his entire post, I would, because each one is poignant.
– Curiosity is key. Most of what I’ve written here has been driven by curiosity. If an informed and educated public is â€œnecessary to the well being of a free society,â€ we need curious journalists. When they’ve become jaded, it’s time for them to step down and let someone else take over.
– It’s not difficult to break news. A combination of the right RSS feeds in Google Reader, email, and a few well-informed friends will do it. When I started blogging, I was surprised when I scooped the local media. Now, I’m often surprised if they publish a story first. The days of the 24 hour news cycle are long gone.
– Just because it’s not in the news doesn’t mean it’s not news. There are a lot of important stories that fall through the cracks or are intentionally ignored. If you know where to look and who to ask, you can find them. And sometimes if you write about it on a blog, a reporter might take notice and follow your lead. In other words, news is not the exclusive purview of professional reporters.
– Bloggers need reporters. Reporters need bloggers. Whether we like it or not, we’ve developed a symbiotic relationship. Paid reporters scan the Internet for leads, and sometimes find them on blogs. Bloggers are rarely in the field reporting, so we rely on material we can quote and link to, giving them additional traffic. The majority of what I’ve posted on hburgnews over the years has been excerpts and links to news reports from traditional media sources.
Thanks, hburgnews.com for the roadmap to a successful, critical and vital community blog. Hopefully your knowledge and experience will provide inspiration for others.